Monday 23 October 2017

Trapattoni worried Keane will relive his Anfield misery at Tottenham

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI has warned Robbie Keane that he risks repeating his nightmare experience at Liverpool by staying with Spurs.

The Irish manager, who was released from hospital yesterday, believes his skipper needs to be playing every week, but Keane has failed to make the starting XI in Spurs' first two competitive games of the new campaign -- coming on as a substitute in both.

"I spoke with him last week and told him he must decide," said Trapattoni. "He could play like he did at Liverpool, only sometimes. With Robbie, I think it is important he plays every game. He is a mature player."

The Italian is well used to the problem of his favoured players suffering rejection at club level and is particularly worried that some of his younger squad members -- like Andy Keogh at Wolves for example -- spend their weekends sitting on the bench.

Nevertheless, he insists that he is happy with the well-being of his squad ahead of the European qualifying campaign and the opening encounter in Armenia on September 3. He used his time in hospital to watch DVDs of the Armenians in action, and warns of a difficult test in Yerevan.


"At home, they are very aggressive," he said. "We have to remember the attitude in the last campaign, where we avoided red and the yellow cards. We cannot react to provocation.

"I'm very happy that this area has improved. We have balance. I saw that in the second half of the game against Argentina.

"Maybe in the first half we showed a bit too much respect. We missed the personality of Doyle, the personality of Whelan, the personality of St Ledger."

Trapattoni has also welcomed Stephen Ireland's imminent move to Aston Villa, yet doesn't seem to believe an international return for the Corkman is any closer.

"I am happy for Steve because he can play for this club," he said. "I consider all Irish players because we look to the future.

"I don't forget Steve. We look at the new generation, but we can also in the future speak with him. But the last time, when I spoke about him, there was a problem in the newspapers. When I said he was shy, one paper put a picture of him as a hedgehog."

Meanwhile, Ipswich have confirmed the loan signing of Celtic defender Darren O'Dea.

The Ireland international, who spent three months on loan at Reading last season, will stay at Portman Road until January 17.

The 23-year-old has made more than 50 appearances for Celtic and signed a three-year contract last season, but manager Neil Lennon was unable to assure him of a first-team place.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport